Test Setup


Standard Test Bed
Playback for Test Application Results
Processor Intel E6600 - 2.4GHz Dual Core
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-P35-DQ6
RAM 2 x 1GB OCZ Reaper PC2-9200
Settings - DDR2-800, 4-4-3-9
OS Hard Drive 1 x Western Digital WD1500 Raptor - 150GB
System Platform Drivers Intel 8.3.0.1013
Intel Matrix RAID 7.6.0.1011
Video Card 1 x MSI 8800GTX
Video Drivers NVIDIA Forceware 162.18
Optical Drive Plextor PX-760A, Plextor PX-B900A
Cooling Tuniq 120
Power Supply Corsair HX620W
Case Cooler Master CM Stacker 830
Operating System Windows XP Professional SP2, Vista Ultimate 32-bit

We are using an Intel E6600 dual-core CPU to ensure that we are not limited by computing power in our testing. We have used a 2GB memory configuration for these tests, but will soon be updating our test beds to a 4GB platform due to current DDR2-800 pricing and upcoming game and application requirements. Our choice of midrange OCZ Reaper HPC PC2-6400 memory offers a very wide range of memory settings with timings of 4-4-3-10 used for our storage benchmark results.

The testbed uses an MSI 8800GTX video card to ensure that our benchmarks are not GPU bound. Our video tests are run at a resolution of 1280x1024 for this article at High Quality settings. All of our tests run in an enclosed case with a dual optical/hard drive setup to reflect a moderately loaded system platform. We fully patch the OS and load a clean drive image for each platform in order to make sure that driver conflicts are minimal.

We format before each test run and complete five tests on each drive in order to ensure consistency in the benchmark results. We remove the high and low scores and report the remaining score. The Windows XP swap file is set to a static 2048MB and we clear the prefetch folder after each benchmark.

Software Test Suite

With the variety of disk drive benchmarks available, we need a means of comparing the true performance of the hard drives in real world applications. Our suite for this test will include:

  • HD Tach
  • HD Tune
  • Acoustics and Thermals
  • PCMark05
  • WinRAR
  • Nero Recode
  • Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts
  • Supreme Commander
  • Windows Vista Startup / Shutdown
  • PCMark Vantage

Our benchmark suite undergoes constant evaluation; as a result, there are several new items in our repertoire for this article. We discuss the individual tests in more detail in the actual test sections, so look to those areas for more information. In addition, there will be additional changes in coming articles to reflect conditions which users are likely to encounter, so watch this space!

The Tale of the Tape HD Tune and HD Tach
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  • Luminair - Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - link

    "Operating System Stated Capacity"

    Lets be clear so maybe you can be clear in the next article.

    The IEC, IEEE, CPIM, and NIST define Giga (G) as 1,000,000,000 or one billion.

    The same standards organizations define Gibi (Gi) as 1,073,741,824.

    As such, by standard definitions, these hard drives are in fact 1000GB, or 1000 gigabytes.

    Your "Operating System Stated Capacity" really means "Windows Explorer Capacity". Other operating systems don't get it wrong like Windows does. So if you report this wrong information at all, you should make the truth known -- that Windows is well known to WRONGLY report GiB as GB (and MiB for MB and so on).

    Those drives have 1000 gigabytes of space. Windows Explorer and solid state memory companies report the space incorrectly.
    Reply
  • Luminair - Friday, November 30, 2007 - link

    These guys get it right :) http://www.pcgameshardware.de/?menu=browser&ar...">http://www.pcgameshardware.de/?menu=bro...&ima... Reply
  • valherumk2 - Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - link

    Looks like another review of the 7200.11 drive where it appears the reviewer didn't remove the jumper limiting it to SATA 1. Interface bandwidth burst rate is over 200MB/s on my 7200.11 with the jumper removed. Reply
  • Zap - Thursday, November 29, 2007 - link

    That's also the first thing that came to my mine... "dude forgot to remove the jumper." Reply
  • Zap - Thursday, November 29, 2007 - link

    That's also the first thing that came to my mine... "dude forgot to remove the jumper." Reply
  • 100proof - Monday, November 26, 2007 - link

    Dave, is there a reason that Samsung's 1TB drive
    was not included in this review? The drive is
    difficult to obtain in the US but is available in
    other countries at this point in time. Tomshardware
    has already posted a review, and there is also
    discussion taking place on storagereview.com

    Tomshardware Review of Samsung F1 1TB
    http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/11/21/samsung_ove...">http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/11/21/samsung_ove...

    Storagereview discussion of F1 Series
    http://forums.storagereview.net/index.php?showtopi...">http://forums.storagereview.net/index.php?showtopi...
    Reply
  • Dave Robinet - Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - link

    It's a matter of availability, not of lack of interest. We do like the latest Samsung offerings - they simply didn't have a drive shipped to us in the lab in time for the article.

    If they get us a 1TB drive for us to have a look at, then we'll gladly put it in a future article.

    Thanks for reading!
    Reply
  • quanta - Wednesday, November 28, 2007 - link

    In the meantime, Tom's hardware did the Samsung Spinpoint F1 review[1], which showed it has great non-server performance. In fact, it outruns WD Raptor WD150ADFD in some tests. Power consumption is between 'cuda 7200.11 and Caviar GP.

    [1] http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/11/21/samsung_ove...">http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/11/21/samsung_ove...
    Reply
  • piasabird - Monday, November 26, 2007 - link

    You get a lower overall price per Gig by using two 500 gb drives. Reply
  • Googer - Monday, November 26, 2007 - link

    With a pair of 500GB hard drives, you do not get it in a single volume, power consumption increases, RAID 0 decreases reliability and increases error possibilities.

    The fact that it takes two drive bays is a sore thumb to those who build small form factor multi-media systems with only one drive bay that will also funtion as a Digtal Video Recorder.

    I should also add, this "GREEN" drive is ideal for a TiVO upgrade due to it's large size, quiet operation, low heat, and noise output.
    Reply

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